ReMix: Vectorman "Become Death"
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10,197,094 bytes, 5:40, 238kbps
Beatdrop's own badass (lowercase) Vectorman ReMix from 2009 finally has some company!
More BA3 action, as timaeus222 (Truong-Son Nguyen) & Sir Jordanius/Darkmoocher (Jordan Etienne) team up for a wondercombo of musical potency, taking on the music of Vectorman with an EDM/synth/industrial/metal funk breakdown that DOES seem to eschew a LITTLE of the EVIL for a bit more of the crayzee jamz, but still brings a maniacal musical energy that could be qualified as "funkily sinister" and/or "groovaliciously twisted" (take your pick) - timaeus writes:
"When Jordan came to me with his concept of what this was going to be, I was pretty excited. At first, I proposed to him that someone start a fresh WIP to help mesh our ideas together, and I ended up writing the intro. Jordan returns the favor on my birthday with the whole arrangement rehashed from his old, old version of this same ReMix for the second BadAss album. He had a bunch of notes written out in a neat lil' TXT file at essay length as per yoozh™, but what I loved about it is that he included audio commentary over a copy of his take. :P It basically said, "Take this, work your magic, and hold nothing back!", so, naturally, I obliged.
Some of his early remarks:
1) "Man, you don't play around AT ALL when it comes to heavy percussion and hard-hitting drums and slams. timaeus, you are siiick, dawg. [...] Y u gotta always work so quickly and shizz."
2) "See, now... why you gotta go on like that and just shit all over me by making some suuuper sick beats and ultra fat grooves?"
...so you know this is going to be something for the record books. ;)
So, the ReMix itself? It's pretty much like this: I did much of the intro, glitching/mangling, scare-tactics wub wubz & FX, some geetah chugz and soloing (Shreddage 2X), cinematic impacts/slams, much of the drums, and mixing/mastering, while Jordan did the remaining 70% or somethin' of the electric geetahz/bass live, vocals (HOW DARE!) and choir, some sick NI Battery drums, a lil' bitcrushed FM wobble here and thar, some ambient hit layers, cinematic textural sampling, LOTS of the arrangement, and uh... yeah, I could keep going on for hours, so let's just say we both did 50/50 and call it good. X) Jordan has some of the craziest ideas I've ever heard, and I'm glad he gave this another shot so that we could flesh it out, melting some faces and scraping, grinding, and busting a bajillion speakers in the process. I also got some new headphones in the middle of working on this and used them in the process to really nail dat bass, so what can I say, djp? You and I are headphone twins. ((( (]^o^[) ))) ...well, OK, I guess you could say quadruplets with Flexstyle and zircon, but that'd be weirder, probably.
With almost 90 (of 99!!) mixer tracks used, nearly 80 layers of stuff, and over 240 instrument/audio clip/automation instantiations (!!!) utilized in FL Studio, if there was ever a musical magnum opus I did something for, it would be this. I mean, really, it takes a whopping 6 minutes for the project file to load, and I have to let FL freeze twice before it can scroll around or zoom in or out. It can be hard to pick your own best work, but I'm pretty set on this one being the one at the moment."
It's crazy. The key to its evil may simply lie in the pain & load it placed on the DAW it was produced in :) Funky, surprising mix of organic and electronic textures, unexpected funk vocoding, sick licks, mad tricks, midpoint ritardando followed by chuggage of death this is like... cirque du soleil on crack. Leave your sanity at the door. Sir J writes... at length.... lengthy, Tolstoyesque length.... this-guy-is-the-Proust-of-mix-writeups-except-entertaining length:
"Where do we even start on this one?
In my attempt to make an incredibly long story short, basically, I've had this idea since well before BadAss: Vol. I. It should be clear that, as open I am to most games, I grew up primarily on the Sega Genesis, so eventually some more non-Sonic classics would be coming from me eventually. :)
I knew I wanted to take this arrangement down Buckethead lane and play off of nuclear warfare and dystopian fallout, but my "killer studio chops" just...
...weren't killing... anything, really.
Jazzy and funky stuff came/comes natural, and I'd say I'm a pretty decent guitarist for the harder rock stuff too, but I just knew, on the mixing and production side of things, I still had much to learn before I could level up beyond "Mildly-Aggressive Studio Veggies."
Not only did I hear about Volume 1 really late, but, also, the staff were blunt yet understanding about my original WIP by letting me know I had some potential but it honestly wasn't on par with the other tracks on the album; so I got benched, but was given the chance to rework it for the next volume...
Fast-forward to Volume II and we've got the same thing... I'm making some decent progress, but it's just still... not killing anything. O___o
"Alright, BadAss: Volume III... I've just GOTTA get it this time!"
I look at the director's prompt/album theme in the project thread... then I look at my current WIP.
I look at the current roster... then back at my WIP...
I A-B compare back and forth as much as possible to some Djentlemen, CHUGGA CHUGGA heavy stuff...
aaaaaaaaand, then back at my WIP.
Finally, I just throw my hands up and knock on a certain person's door.
"Ay, yo, timaeus? So, I've got this weapons-of-mass-destruction Buckethead kind of thing going on... and it's 'crazy,' yeah... but not really nuclearically brutal enough. I've got the chemical process laid out, basically, but you think maybe you can help me test this bomb?"
And then timaeus came back to me with a demo saying "WUUUBBB WUUBBBB WUUUB WOOOWOWOOOWWWOOOWWW RRRRRROOOOOAAAAAAARRRRR!!!", so it was pretty much a wrap from there.
2014 was an incredibly shitty year for me, so, unfortunately, I ended up as a deadweight for many projects outside of Zone Runners, since it was hard to remain motivated on anything else, but I kept coming back slowly and slowly to the WIPs timaeus would be sending. I'm sure I've had the staff and timaeus pulling the impatient Sonic pose of crossing their arms and tapping their toes wondering "Where the in the world is Sir J?"
And in the veeery final stages of wrapping up the album, I had to be an ass to timaeus in order to keep going back to make fine adjustment after fine adjustment after fine adjustment.
And, so, that brings us to the WubWub ChuggaChugga chimera you hear today. With a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, several months (years, really, on my part) of hair-pulling, and 200+ track stems and instances (each of our DAW projects combined) later... we present to you "Become Death."
It is certainly one of the most ambitious remixes I've ever worked on, I truly appreciate timaeus's phenomenal work (and patience with my asshattery), the directors (especially pu_freak) for continuously giving me a chance since waaaay back in the beginning, and I sincerely hope this gets some muthafuggin' thumbs up from Vectorman fans out there.
In many cases I'd say that utilizing a well-known Oppenheimer-invoked Bhagavad Gita quote for one's mix title might be overkill/melodramatic, but DAYUM... completely warranted, y'all are collectively henceforth known as the Destroyers of DAWs. I can tell just from LISTENING to this how much went into it, how much oomph was involved, and - scientifically speaking - how much guster was mustered. The quantity? At least a bazillion guster. Director pu_freak writes:
"Wait, did I say that the previous mix was sparking with energy? I take that back... THIS has energy! These guys are crazy... not twisted like Chimpazilla and Redg in their mix, but rather drooling, psycho, bat-shit crazy! Man, oh, man, what a mix. From its raw and dark intro, to its funky but distorted guitars and dissonant background guitars, to glitchy effects throughout the mix, to its sick and devastating dubstep section, all the way to a truly crazy shredding guitar solo... this mix has it all. And it all sounds logical. Well, you know, for a crazy as hell, psychotic mix. This mix has been in the works for years and it really shows -- not that it sounds dated, but you simply cannot do this in a few months. Kudos to Jordan and Tim for seeing this through to the end and spending so much time on this to make one of the best and craziest mixes I've ever heard!"
Co-director Chernabogue adds:
"What is death? Apparently, it can take many forms - Darkmoocher & timaeus222 present their own version, filled with bass drops, electric guitar, phat percussion, and other crazy elements (special "thumbs up" to the women choir's shouts). This track contains rock, dubstep, metal, and maybe a touch of reggae. It shares a common trait with the rest - it's totally epic."
Is it wrong that after he wrote "What is death?" I simultaneously thought "a miserable little pile of secrets" AND "...baby don't hurt me..."?? Yes, yes it is. From a raw production perspective, this is BA3's crown jewel, and almost certainly the most over-the-top, ambitious, and decadent tribute Vectorman shall ever enjoy. Is it evil? Not in the sinister, lurking sense that might invoke dread, but rather in a manic, unnerving, unpredictable fashion that ALSO happens to funk, groove, chug, and generally pound its way into your subconscious.
Ridiculous, in the best & most musically-impressive sense of the word, and a truly unique collaboration & meeting of musical minds.